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More to Airport Motives Than Meets the Eye

January 20, 2002

Letters from Newport Beach-area residents and the other El Toro airport supporters dutifully regurgitate statistics that seem to support this need.

But the truth is they just want a new airport somewhere else, anywhere else, so they can transfer their problems. And the facts themselves rebut any real argument for an airport at El Toro that they can conjure up. John Wayne is operating at only 58% of capacity. The existing runway can be lengthened within existing airport boundaries at a fraction of the cost of building El Toro.

The differences in the vision for the former Marine base at El Toro couldn't be any more distinct. If you're not sure about all this or believe even any of the county's quieter, cleaner, airport rhetoric, just look at the areas surrounding any 30-million passenger airport in the nation. Look at the communities under its flight paths and the impact it has on these areas. That is the vision that Newport Beach, the 3-2 Board of Supervisors majority, and the Airport Working Group has for most of central and southern Orange County.

Is that really what we want for our communities, ourselves and our children? Is that why we all moved here?

Douglas K. Blaul

Trabuco Canyon

*

Are the South County residents who oppose a nearby convenient airport the same ones who crawl inch by inch through the El Toro Y day in day out for work and then again to get to John Wayne Airport? And aren't the leaders of these cities the same ones who approve one new huge residential complex after another in the hopes of increasing city revenue? How are all these people going to fly anywhere? You'll need a helicopter just to get to the airport.

R. Hamers

Irvine

*

Re "A Fair Look at the Great Park," Editorial, Dec. 9:

Your editorial tried to make controversies surrounding the park issue more clear. The most significant fact is that the park plan advertised in the glossy brochures is not the park plan promises for the March ballot. It does not include any new building projects.

Also important is that voters need to consider the potential revenue losses to the county if the El Toro property becomes a park instead of an airport. Reports on the subject conclude about 80,000 jobs and $6 billion in annual economic activity would be sacrificed. Now that we are in a recession, that lost becomes even more significant.

Esther Fine

Newport Beach

*

The recent article on the report of toxic contaminants at El Toro left out several significant facts:

* The study was funded by the Newport Beach-based Airport Working Group--the same outfit whose "study" said the park would cost taxpayers $2 billion. The county's own estimate placed this at $19 million over 20 years; less than half of what has been spent on an unworkable plan for an airport to date, or 33 cents per resident per year.

* The county's own EIR states that there are "significant impacts" from the construction and operation of an airport resulting in increased cancer deaths that cannot be mitigated.

* It is the responsibility of the federal government to clean up any toxins left behind at El Toro.

In the future, please beware of "information" funded by the deep pockets of the Newport NIMBYs!

Richard Plavetich

Laguna Beach

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